The SL-1, or Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a United States Army experimental nuclear power reactor which underwent a steam explosion and meltdown on January 3, 1961, killing its three operators.
Historical, Military - R&D
The site was cleaned in 1961 to 1962, removing the bulk of the contaminated debris and burying it. The massive cleanup operation included the dismantling and disposal of the reactor and building. A burial ground was constructed approximately 1,600 feet (488 m) northeast of the original site of the reactor. This was done to minimize radiation exposure to the public and site workers that would have resulted from transport of contaminated debris from SL-1 to the Radioactive-Waste Management Complex over 16 miles (26 km) of public highway. Original cleanup of the site took about 18 months. The entire reactor building, contaminated materials from nearby buildings, and soil and gravel contaminated during cleanup operations were disposed of in the burial ground. The majority of buried materials consist of soils and gravel.